8/4, day 100, 17.3 mi., 8120′
Last night was the worst storm yet. The wind was very strong and the rain was fierce. At one point the wind was driving the rain thru the tent walls. A few minutes later we thought the tent was going to take off like a wind blown balloon. Meanwhile flashes of lightning and booming thunder were right outside the tent. The wind and rain stopped and started several times during the night. Our tent was well tested.
After slow, disorganized breakfast and packing up we left Heart Lake by walking down the sandy beach that was covered with lake grass washed up from the storm. A bald eagle flew overhead.
The entire day was that charmed. Twice we met rangers, both were interested in our bear encounter stories and CDT hike and neither asked for our permit. We then walked past geysers and fumaroles that we had all to ourselves. Witch Creek was flowing blue meaning that the temperature was over 167*.
When we spread out gear to dry at lunch we were near a trailhead so we chatted with lots of day hikers for so long that we thought we needed to hurry to our designated camp, but…
When we reached the road the guide said that Grant Village was only 7 miles away. We got a ride with another hiker to go drink coke and buy Snickers and oranges. Then we saw the grill and had another lunch, bought the snacks and hit the trail. We also got e-mail.
This afternoon’s hike was past Shoshone Lake, and across the outlet which was flowing gently but very wide and upper thigh deep. The beach and lake bottom are obsidian gravel that is egg sized. Shoshone Lake is the largest lake in the lower 48 without road access. Beautiful, and so secluded.
Our smelly shoes haven’t been dry for so long. We are feeling very healthy and strong.